This Milwaukee man killed 3 innocent people for the simple crime of not speaking English.
As violence increases at rallies for Donald Trump and hate crimes are encouraged by the presidential candidate’s rhetoric and nationalist remarks, it appears as though a shift is occurring in America. People with racist and nationalist views now think it is okay to act on their bigoted beliefs, and innocent people are winding up injured or dead because of it. Such is the case with Dan Popp, a Milwaukee resident who murdered 3 people with a rifle because they didn’t speak English, according to a witness who just barely escaped being shot as well.
It was Sunday afternoon and Jesus Manso-Perez, 40, and his 18-year-old son, Jesus Manso-Carrasquillo, had left the apartment to do laundry. They ran into Popp on their way to the basement in their apartment complex, who Manso-Carrasquillo said offered them a beer. When they declined, Popp asked where they were from and they replied that they were from Puerto Rico, to which Popp reportedly replied, “Oh, that’s why you don’t speak English. You’re Puerto Rican.” After they parted ways, the father and son started a load of laundry and made their way back to their apartment. It was then that they met Popp at the stairs, he pointed a rifle at them, said “You guys got to go” and shot the father in the head. The son managed to run away and just barely missed the shots that Popp fired at him.
Minutes later, Popp kicked down the door of the Vue family’s home, who lived in a neighboring unit. The family had heard the first shots, presumably those fired at Manso-Perez and Manso-Carrasquillo, and huddled together in the bedroom. Popp knocked at first but when no one answered he kicked the door in and forced his way into the bedroom. He pointed the rifle at Phia Vue, a 36-year-old father of the four children he huddled around, and told Phia to leave with him. The two left the room and the family heard shots. Phia was later found dead in the bathroom by police.
Popp made his way back to the room and demanded that everyone leave with him and even began dragging Mai Vue, a 32-year-old mother of the four children, and two of her children out of the apartment. The other two children and an adult relative that was with them at the time all ran out and had called police, eventually directing authorities to Popp. Mai Vue was found shot to death in Popp’s apartment.
After cops arrived, Popp came out of his apartment with the rifle slung around his shoulder. Cops ordered him to the ground and arrested Popp. He was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first-degree homicide in the case of the 18-year-old son. He was given a bail of $150,000, which seems a bit low for a triple homicide and what many would consider a hate crime. Popp’s attorney asked at his initial court hearing that he be examined for mental competency to determine if he is of sound mind.
Family and friends of the two families gathered at a memorial this past Sunday to honor and remember those who were lost. Some signs were held by those seeking justice for the terrible murders, and some read “Hate Speech Leads To Hate Crimes.” With such diverse families being affected by the tragedy, it was fitting that the prayers were recited in three different languages: English, Hmong, and Spanish.
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